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Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Procedures

Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence Procedures for Students

The University of Tampa is committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment for all students, faculty and staff. Sexual misconduct and relationship violence is in direct conflict with The University of Tampa’s stated educational mission. Sexual misconduct and relationship violence is unwanted conduct of a sexual nature that includes sexual harassment, gender harassment, nonconsensual sexual contact, nonconsensual sexual intercourse, sexual exploitation, intimate partner violence (including domestic violence and dating violence) and stalking. These procedures, which are prompt, fair and impartial, will be used in reporting, investigating, adjudicating and determining sanctions for sexual misconduct and relationship violence complaints.

These procedures apply to sexual misconduct and relationship violence (part XIX, listed under University Policies). For the process related to other student misconduct, please see Student Conduct Procedures- Individual Students, and for the procedures for misconduct by registered student organizations, please see Student Conduct Procedures- Registered Student Organization.

Procedure Coverage and Jurisdiction

The Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence Procedures apply to...

The Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence Procedures apply to any complaint of sexual misconduct and relationship violence defined by the Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Policy (part XIX) contained within the University Policies. As noted in the Student Code of Conduct, The University of Tampa reserves the right to adjudicate conduct that occurs on or off campus. This includes the disciplining or dismissal of any student or registered student organization whose conduct on or off campus violates the Student Code of Conduct, including the Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence Policy.

Reporting Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence

All students, faculty, staff and community members are encouraged to file...

All students, faculty, staff and community members are encouraged to file a complaint of sexual misconduct and relationship violence in any of the following ways:

  • by contacting the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator listed below;
  • by filing an incident report on the Office of Student Conduct website by utilizing the Public Report Form;
  • by reporting to any Responsible Employee or Campus Security Authority;
  • by consenting to a confidential employee to share information with the Title IX Coordinator.

Title IX Coordinator
Donna Popovich, Executive Director
Human Resources
Riverside Center 202
Phone: (813) 253-6237
dpopovich@ut.edu

Title IX Deputy Coordinator
Leander Hamilton, Manager, Title IX and Strategic Workplace Compliance
Human Resources
Riverside Center, 202
Phone: (813) 253-2748
lhamilton02@ut.edu

Title IX Deputy Coordinator for Students
Tim Nelson, Director of Student Conduct
Office of Student Conduct
Vaughn Center 202
Phone: (813) 258-7228
tnelson@ut.edu

Title IX Deputy Coordinator for Athletics
Jennifer Alger, Assistant Director Academic and Student Services/Senior Woman Administrator
Athletics
Martinez Athletic Center 126
Phone: (813) 257-3000
jalger@ut.edu

Title IX Deputy Coordinator for Academic Affairs
Joseph Sclafani, PhD Interim Associate Provost, Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning
Professor of Psychology
Plant Hall 303
Phone: (813) 257-3072
jsclafani@ut.edu

Confidential Reports

The University designates members of the staff or faculty to serve as confidential employees. Confidential employees such as Victim Advocate(s) or University Counselors are obligated to withhold personal identifiable information of sexual misconduct reported by a student, unless consent is given by the student to whom they are providing services for.

Victim Advocate Hotline: (813) 257-3900

Non-Confidential Reports

All employees of the University (including staff, faculty and University officials) who are not considered confidential employees and certain student workers are considered responsible employees. Not all students who receive compensation from the University are responsible employees. In order for a student worker to be a responsible employee, he or she must have the authority to take action to redress sexual misconduct or relationship violence; must have been given the duty of reporting incidents of sexual misconduct or any other misconduct by students; or must be an individual to whom a student could reasonably believe has this authority. In addition, the disclosure must be made to the student worker in his or her capacity as a student worker.

All responsible employees are obligated to report all given information of sexual misconduct and relationship violence to the Title IX coordinator or deputy Title IX coordinator.

Reports to Law Enforcement/Agencies

The University also encourages anyone who believes they are a victim of sexual misconduct and/or relationship violence (or any other crime) to make a report to Campus Safety if the misconduct occurred on campus, or to local law enforcement, for misconduct occurring off campus. Collection and preservation of evidence relating to the reported sexual misconduct and relationship violence is essential for law enforcement investigations, so prompt reporting of the incident to law enforcement is especially critical. Designated University staff will, upon request, assist an individual in making a report to campus safety and/or law enforcement. For reports relating to off-campus sexual misconduct and/or relationship violence, Campus Safety can assist in identifying the appropriate law enforcement agency to which to make the report. In addition, upon being notified of potential sexual misconduct and/or relationship violence that may also constitute a crime, the Title IX coordinator or designee will notify Campus Safety to ensure appropriate distribution of University-wide warnings, if needed, and maintenance of accurate statistics. Please note victims also may decline to make a report to a law enforcement agency.

Assumption of Good Faith Reporting

The University presumes that reports of sexual misconduct and relationship violence are made in good faith. A finding that the behavior at issue does not constitute a violation of the Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence Policy, or that there is insufficient evidence to conclude that the incident occurred as reported, does not mean that the report was made in bad faith. The University encourages all individuals who have experienced or witnessed behavior they believe violates the Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence Policy to report the matter so that it may be addressed, without fear of consequences from the University.

Retaliation against any person in the University community for alleging sexual misconduct and/or relationship violence or for cooperating or participating in the investigation process is strictly prohibited.Any concerns about retaliation should be directed to the Title IX coordinator or deputy coordinator. Acts of retaliation will be adjudicated under the appropriate student conduct policy – Respect of Persons (part XVI within the University Policies section).

University Response Procedures

Upon notice of alleged sexual misconduct and/or relationship violence...

    The University Response Procedure

    Services

    Upon notice of alleged sexual misconduct and/or relationship violence, the University will take prompt and effective steps to end and eliminate any sexual misconduct and/or relationship violence, prevent its recurrence and remedy its effects on the complainant and/or University community. Once the University is notified of possible sexual misconduct and/or relationship violence, the complainant will be offered appropriate confidential support and other resources. The University will take appropriate steps to prevent and/or address retaliation as a prohibited by the Student Code of Conduct. The respondent will also be offered appropriate confidential support and other resources and notified of applicable institutional policies. If needed, the Title IX coordinator or designee will help to coordinate the services provided for the complainant and/or respondent by various University offices. Students and/or employees who report violations of the Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence Policy are entitled to a written explanation of rights and options. Students may receive these written rights and within the Office of Student Conduct. Employees may contact Human Resources directly for information regarding grievance procedures related to faculty and staff.

    Interim Actions

    The University of Tampa may also implement interim actions, as may be appropriate for the individuals involved and for the larger University community. A complainant or respondent may request an interim measure to the Title IX coordinator/deputy coordinator, or the University may choose to impose one at its sole discretion to ensure the safety and well-being of all parties and/or the broader University community, the integrity of the investigative and/or resolution process, and/or to serve the best interests of the University or its community. Interim actions are kept in place throughout the investigation of a complaint, review and appeal process, and may become permanent.

    The Title IX coordinator or designee shall have the sole authority to make a final decision on the appropriate interim action, and he/she may selection any interim action from all of the available interim actions that he/she finds appropriate under the circumstances at issue. There is no right to appeal this decision.

    Interim actions may include but are not limited to:

    1. Interim Suspension- The Title IX coordinator or designee may impose an interim suspension of a student prior to the beginning of or during the formal student conduct process. In this case, the student may not reside in a residence hall and/or attend classes at the University until the interim suspension has been removed. This interim measure may include an interim no-trespass order.
    2. Interim No Contact Order- The Title IX coordinator or designee may impose an interim no contact order between students or any other member of the University community.
    3. Interim No-Trespass Order- The Title IX coordinator or designee, Campus Safety, or director of Residential Communities or designee may impose an interim no-trespass order which may limit access to a specific area or place including but not limited to buildings, events and the University.
    4. Interim Student Employment Removal- The Title IX coordinator or designee, the student's department supervisor or designee may impose a temporary removal of student employment.
    5. Residence Hall Restrictions- The Title IX coordinator or designee or the director of Residential Communities or designee may impose a Residence Hall suspension, housing room reassignment or other restrictions prior to the beginning of or during the formal student conduct process.

    Additional interim actions may include but are not limited to:

    • Providing academic accommodations such as rescheduling exams and assignments, adjusting class schedules and providing academic support services;
    • Changing work schedules or job assignments;
    • Facilitating a voluntary leave of absence; or
    • Providing other remedies that can be tailored to the involved individuals to achieve the goals of these procedures.

    Decision to Proceed with Investigation

    If the complainant is willing to participate in the review and investigation process, the University will proceed as described in the investigation section below. If the complainant requests confidentiality or asks that the report of sexual misconduct and/or relationship violence not be pursued, the University will forward the complaint and all available information to a review panel. The review panel will consist of the Title IX coordinator or designee and administrative staff members selected by the Title IX coordinator or designee in his/her sole discretion. These panel members, who are free of any conflict of interest or bias, will represent the interests of the University community.

    The review panel is charged with balancing the University’s commitment to supporting survivor-centered practices with the equally strong commitment to provide due process for respondent students and promote a safe community. The panel will provide information and advice to the Title IX coordinator whether an investigation should proceed without consent of the Complainant. In all cases, the final decision on whether to proceed with an investigation, and whether other measures will be taken with conjunction with any complaint of sexual misconduct and/or relationship violence, rests solely with the Title IX coordinator or designated Title IX deputy. The Title IX coordinator or designated Title IX deputy reserves the right to reassign any dismissed violations if new information becomes known regarding the alleged misconduct that was not known to the Title IX coordinator or designated Title IX deputy at the time of the initial review.

    Meeting with the Title IX Coordinator

    The complainant and respondent are required to meet with the Title IX coordinator or designated deputy coordinator, who is free of any conflict of interest or bias, to review the rights and responsibilities within the Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence Process.

    Investigation

    In all cases, the University will respond to the complaint in a prompt, thorough, procedurally fair and effective manner. Upon receipt of a complaint, the University will strive to complete its review within sixty (60) calendar days. If the University is unable to complete the process within sixty (60) calendar days, the University will provide an update to the Complainant and Respondent.

    Investigations will consist of a thorough fact-finding investigation, which includes meeting separately with the complainant (if participating), respondent (if participating), reporter (if applicable) and pertinent witnesses (if participating), and reviewing other relevant information. Throughout the process, the complainant and respondent may have an advisor present for all meetings they attend.

    Investigation Report

    The investigator(s) will prepare a preliminary written report at the conclusion of their initial investigation and then a final written report at the conclusion of their investigation. Before the preliminary report is finalized, the complainant and respondent will be given the opportunity to finalize their individualized statements. These statements will not be eligible for editing after the release of the preliminary report. The complainant and respondent may review the investigator's preliminary report without the investigator's summary of findings, which will be provided to both the complainant and respondent concurrently. A complainant or respondent must submit any comments about the preliminary report within two (2) business days after that report was available to them for review.

    The Investigator’s preliminary written report will generally contain:

    • A summary of the investigation;
    • The complainant and respondent statements; and
    • A summary of witness statements.

    Following the receipt of any comments submitted, or after the two (2) business day period has lapsed without comment, the investigator will address any identified factual inaccuracies or misunderstandings as appropriate in his/her sole discretion and complete a final written report.

    The investigator’s final written report will generally contain:

    • A summary of the investigation;
    • The complainant and respondent statements;
    • A summary of witness statements;
    • A summary of material facts; and
    • A conclusion and finding, based on the preponderance of evidence, regarding the allegations of sexual misconduct, including whether a Sexual Misconduct Policy violation occurred.

    The Title IX coordinator or designated Title IX deputy reserves the right to reassign any dismissed violations if new information becomes known regarding the alleged misconduct that was not known to the investigator or the Title IX coordinator or designated Title IX deputy at the time of the investigation.

    Standard of Proof

    The investigator’s finding will be made using the preponderance of the evidence standard. This standard requires that, upon consideration of all of the evidence, it is more likely than not sexual misconduct and/or relationship violence was committed. Under this standard, individuals are presumed not to have engaged in sexual misconduct and/or relationship violence unless a preponderance of the evidence supports a finding that sexual misconduct and/or relationship violence occurred.

Outcome and Sanctioning

If the Respondent is found responsible for sexual misconduct...

If the Respondent is found responsible for sexual misconduct and/or relationship violence, the University will initiate a sanctioning process designed to eliminate the misconduct, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects, while supporting the University’s educational mission and Title IX obligations. Sanctions will be determined by the associate dean of students or designee who is free of any conflict of interest or bias.

All sanctions are progressive, educational, and assigned based upon the severity of the misconduct. A lesser sanction is not required for a first violation. Additional sanctions may be imposed in conjunction with or as an alternative to a progressive disciplinary sanction. The decision of the associate dean of students or designee is final as to the sanction or sanctions to be imposed. Progressive disciplinary sanctions for Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence may range from a disciplinary reprimand through expulsion. Additional sanctions that may be applied are also listed within the Student Code of Conduct.

If a respondent is not found responsible for sexual misconduct and/or relationship violence, the University will not initiate a sanctioning process. Both the complainant and respondent will be notified of the outcome concurrently in writing to their Spartan email account.

Review of Decision

Either party (complainant or respondent) may appeal the determination...

Either party (complainant or respondent) may appeal the outcome of the investigator(s). Parties may file an appeal of the outcome in the investigator’s final written report to the dean of students within two (2) business days of delivery of the report to their Spartan email account. A party may only seek an appeal within these specific guidelines. All appeals are reviewed by the dean of students or designee who is free of any conflict of interest or bias.

Appeals shall be limited to a review of the investigator’s final report and supporting documents provided with the appeal for one of the following purposes:

  • To determine whether the original investigation was conducted in conformity with prescribed procedures. If a procedural error occurred, it needs to be sufficient to alter the decision of the case.
  • To consider new information, sufficient to alter an outcome, that was not available at the time of the original investigation, because information and/or facts could not have been known to the complainant or respondent at the time of the investigation.

The dean of students or designee, shall conduct this review and it shall be limited to these two purposes. The dean of students or designee has the authority to render the following decisions based on his/her limited review:

  • Affirm the decision of the original investigator; or
  • Refer the case for a re-investigation by a new investigator. The new investigator will receive all statements given by any parties that were interviewed. This information will be provided to the new investigator by the Title IX deputy or designee. The new investigator will not receive any conclusions or findings from the original report.

All appeal decisions are final. The complainant and respondent will be notified of the decision within 10 business days of the appeal decision via their Spartan email account.